Virtual reality is becoming more pervasive. Big tech companies are investing millions into virtual reality because of its potential to become “the next internet.” Despite significant technological advances, how we engage with each other in virtual reality is still rudimentary. Our avatars can move through space, assume different forms, and even fly, but things like body language and facial expressions are still limited. There are many subconscious physical cues that don’t yet translate into our virtual presence. In the absence of these subtle “soft cues,” connecting with others in virtual worlds can feel awkward at best, and alienating at worst.
At the Monday VR Experiments, we explore new ways to make more satisfying interpersonal connections with digital avatars in virtual worlds. We’re developing digital puppeteering techniques that focus on the nuances of human behaviors, such as eye contact, proximity, breath, and tone of voice. If the idea of infusing the brave new world of virtual reality with more humanity appeals to you, come join us. Send an email to request an entry code for our next Monday VR experiment.